Canada eh? A rare foray away from Africa and Asia in the Eaternational project….
As always, Wikipedia was a good source of research for Canadian cuisine, as were my good Canadian friends Joce and Mike and Lucy. For once I was actually spoiled for choice. I’d already heard of Poutine and had been treated to several maple flavoured biscuits from our Canadian friends when they returned to the UK.
On the Wikipedia article were the results of a survey of Canadians as to what they consider to be the most Canadian foods:
I thought it apt to try and recreate the dishes on this list. I could easily drink a bottle of maple syrup myself but there’s little in the way of cooking involved so it might be seen as a cop-out. Poutine was next on the list (pronounced Poo-tan by the French Canadian populous). Poutine appears to be a classic Canadian street food – the kind of thing you’d eat at sports games. It’s basically chips, cheese and gravy but the Canadians make it seem more refined somehow. The chips are french fries; thin and freshly fried. The gravy is usually a mix of chicken and beef stock. The real difference lies with the cheese; Canadians top their dish with cheese curd rather than cheese. This is difficult to come by in the UK and from what I’ve read, the closest substitute is mozzarella. Poutine is making its way over to the UK and I’d look forward to eating the real thing. (Since writing this paragraph and eating the poutine I have been berated by the Canadians for not sourcing curd! Will have to have another go at some point)
I hadn’t heard of Nanaimo bars but ran them by Joce and she agreed was a good choice. They’re basically a 3 layered bar; the bottom layer is made of buiscuit, the middle layer is custard and the top is chocolate. There are many recipes available on the internet for you to choose from if you want to recreate them. The biscuit base is made from digestive biscuits, butter, cocoa and coconut, the custard layer is made from custard power, butter and icing sugar and then chocolate with extra butter on top just for some extra calories! Some of the recipes have the base just set in the fridge but the one I chose had me bake it for a few minutes. They were really tasty and definitely something to try for yourselves.